Air Namibia has suspended all charter flights with immediate effect. Photo: Air Namibia
Air Namibia has suspended all charter flights with immediate effect. Photo: Air Namibia

Air Namibia suspends all charter flights

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Jun 10, 2020

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RUSTENBURG - Air Namibia has suspended all charter flights with immediate effect, the airline said on Wednesday.

"Air Namibia wishes to inform the flying public that all charter flights have been discontinued with immediate effect, until further notice," the airline said in a brief notice on its website.

State-run newspaper New Era reported that the cancellation of the service would affect at least four flights that were scheduled for South Africa, the UK and China.  

Air Namibia spokesperson Paul Nakawa told the newspaper that more than 100 passengers were affected by the abrupt decision to suspend flights. 

Air Namibia had four scheduled repatriation charter flights to Cape Town, Johannesburg, London and China.

Over the past weeks, Air Namibia has operated repatriation charter flights to destinations such as Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Addis Ababa  in Ethiopia, Kinshasa in Democratic Republic of Congo and Luanda in Angola to bring stranded Namibians home.  

Last week, Air Namibia also brought home a combined 127 Namibian nationals from Frankfurt and London who were stranded abroad due to the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Humanitarian flights were also operated to airlift Zimbabwean nationals from Walvis Bay to Harare, while various repatriation missions were also conducted in South Africa. 

Nakawa explained there was no indication yet as to when such flights would resume, adding that the public would be informed once such a decision has been taken. 

The newspaper reported that the cancellation comes after President Hage Geingob proposed the liquidation of Air Namibia during his State of the Nation Address.

"Air Namibia must be liquidated. We have a serious problem with Air Namibia. It must be restructured. It is not making any profits and it is just being bailed out. We must do something about it," Geingob said.

According to Nakawa, the suggested liquidation will have an adverse effect on Air Namibia’s staff and the tourism sector.  

Daily newspaper Namibian Sun reported that at the time of the announcement, Air Namibia had completed more than 10 regional and international charter flight operations since April 2020, repatriating more than 300 Namibians and equally transported foreigners back home. 

The airline also provided crucial services in the fight against the coronavirus, transporting critical medical supplies, including personal protective equipment and pharmaceuticals.

African News Agency 

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